What Should Home Buyers Look For in a Roof?
It is an unfortunate reality that many home buyers will simply purchase a house without paying the slightest bit of attention to one important feature; its roof. It is fast becoming the case that in an ever competitive property market, many home buyers will simply fail to survey the roof of a property before negotiating to purchase it outright. This misplaced ‘assumption’ that because the roof of the property appears to be stable and free of faults must mean that the roof of the property is indeed stable and free of faults, is usually the biggest error prospective home buyers can make prior to signing on the dotted line. If this happens, these buyers should consider contacting someone from the National Roofing Contractors Association to inspect their roof or to repair it if need be. By failing to survey the roof of the property they intend to purchase, home buyers are setting themselves up for nasty surprises in the form of leaks, damp problems and unforeseen repair costs.
Clearly the most effective way home buyers can avoid experiencing the nasty surprise of roof issues in a recently purchased property, is by checking the roof prior to making that all important purchase in the first place. Therefore the following is a list of the most important things all home buyers should look for when surveying the roof of any property.
- Always look to see if the roof is visibly damaged in any way. For example look for missing tiles, cracked tiles and any damage to brick work such as on protruding chimneys. Damage of this nature often indicates an underlying weakening of the roof’s structural integrity.
- Similarly look to see if the roof has been repaired in any way and if so check to see if such repairs have been carried out correctly. For example, check to see if replacement tiles have been securely fitted and that they have not damaged surrounding tiles. Also check to see that the correct insulation has been installed beneath any external repair work, along with an unbroken water membrane.
- Also check to see if the roof is leaking. Often roofs that are leaking will create the perfect environment for damp to spread within an attic. As such check for signs of black mould, moisture and condensation within the attic and indeed within the roof to ascertain if the roof is in fact leaking.
- Following on from the last point, it is important to check to see if a roof is draining water away properly. Often a roof will develop signs of leaking because of blocked and inadequate guttering causing a backlog of surface run off water to seep under roof tiles and into the property. As such always check that the gutters are free from rust, are not blocked and are not showing signs of decay such as displaying green slime which indicates the presence of stagnant water.
- Does the roof have a chimney breast? If so this could mean that the roof is susceptible to damp problems, as chimneys protruding through the roof can weaken flashings and over time allow water into the property via the roof. Check to see if the chimney is properly sealed at the point at which it exits the roof, and also check to see that the chimney is not perpetually damp within the attic.
- Always look at the timber structure within the attic. Check to see that all the timber frames are in place. If any of the frames have been removed, the roof’s structural integrity has no doubt been severely compromised which could mean that the roof is liable to collapse in the short term.
- How old is the roof? The older the roof, the more likely that the roof will develop issues and faults that will need constant monitoring and repair work. A good tip to ascertain the age of a roof is to compare it to the roofs of neighbouring properties. If neighbouring properties have had full roof replacements or extensive repairs, then it is likely that the roof of the surveyed property is nearing the end of its natural life and will likely require extensive repair work and a full replacement in the near future.
- Flat roofed properties might seem easier than conventional roofed properties to maintain, but a home buyer should always check to see if the flat roof is showing signs of damage such as cracking, bubbling and a general deterioration of the water membrane which, if left unaddressed, could cause significant damp issues within the property.
The above mentioned is mostly if you are looking to purchase a home but if you already own a home, you can still check off this list to see your roof’s over all health. Consider consulting a local Edmonton roofing company for a free roof inspection to see the health of your roof.
If a home buyer keeps this list in his or her head when checking a roof of a property they are keen on purchasing, they will greatly decrease the chances of purchasing a property with a dodgy roof and with it the inevitable repair costs, labour costs and effort necessary to fix it correctly.